Talk:Helgoland (Bruckner)

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Improvements for the page[edit]

At the moment I'm calling it a "piece", but I saw one site call it a cantata which seems quite a convenient designation. Opinions? Lethesl 12:21, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Edit: I'm also thinking about adding a fair use (under 30 second) sample of the piece to demonstrate the Wagnerian qualities mentioned in the article in a more direct way.
Edit 2: if the images are OTT, feel free to remove.

Here is a very rough draft for a future "Music" section:


The orchestra is comprised of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, cymbal & strings.

The piece is full of strength and enthusiasm, and - even more than his other works - carries the mark of the influence of Wagner.[1] Due to its relatively obscure place in Bruckner's oeuvre, it is difficult to ascertain its precise quality - some find the text to exemplify the naivety of German Romanticism.[2] NB: A recording of the referred performance by Michael Tilson Thomas is put in the Bruckner Archive.[3]

None of Bruckners mature symphonies were commissioned which could lead to the accusation that Helgoland is a potboiler, but his Psalm 150 was also a commission, and this is considered to be one of his greatest choral works. The lack of exposure to the piece may mean that a consensus will not be reached soon, but what is clear is the quality of the orchestral and vocal writing in the piece, naive libretto or not.

A lot of this is too close to original research to include, plus contains a weasel word. This piece is difficult to find citable sources simply due to a lack of writing on it, but rather than scrap this section, I'll leave it here in case anybody can improve/source it to be added later. Lethesl 09:40, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Citable sources[edit]

Citable sources have been added:

  • Uwe Harten, Anton Bruckner. Ein Handbuch. Residenz Verlag, Salzburg, 1996. ISBN 3-7017-1030-9
  • Cornelis van Zwol, Anton Bruckner - Leven en Werken, Thot, Bussum (Netherlands), 2012. ISBN 90-686-8590-2

A not-issued performance of the work by Takashi Asahina can be heard on John Berky's website.[4] Other not-issued performances by, i.a., Gennadi Rozhdestvensky are stored in the Bruckner Archive.[3] --Réginald alias Meneerke bloem (To reply) 16:40, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Helgoland recordings[edit]

Ten recordings of Helgoland are put in the Bruckner Archive.[3] I have eight of them:
I find Daniel Barenboim's first performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1979) the best one. In second position, I put Rozhdestvensky with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (1982, not-issued), equally placed in third position, Wyn Morris with the Symphonica of London (1977) and Alberto Hold-Garrido with the Malmö Opera Orchestra (2011), equally placed in fourth position Takashi Asahina with the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra (1987, not issued) and Barenboim's second performance with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (1992), and in fifth position Berhard Steiner with the Philharmonie Südwestfalen (2011, not issued).
I have also the live performance of the vocal and piano reduction score by Jerzy Cichocki with the Victoria Scholars (2012), which can be heard on YouTube.[5] Cichocki's performance misses, however, most of the dramatic effect of the cantata.
There are two other, not-issued recordings in the Bruckner Archive: Herbert Schernus with the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra (1980) and the above mentioned performance of Michael Tyson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (2003). I do not have copies of these two recordings. --Réginald alias Meneerke bloem (To reply) 10:52, 30 December 2015 (UTC)


The instrumentation given is typical of a Romantic-period orchestra (say, Beethoven's later symphonies) - I wouldn't call it 'large', certainly not for 1893. PhilUK (talk) 20:36, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

The orchestra is larger than that used for Bruckner's other cantatas and earlier psalm settings. It is the same as for Bruckner's Psalm 150, with extra cymbal crash. --Réginald alias Meneerke bloem (To reply) 14:36, 4 November 2015 (UTC)


I have expanded the section "history", added reliable references, and expanded the section "music" accordingly. --Réginald alias Meneerke bloem (To reply) 17:41, 27 August 2015 (UTC)